No Permission For BJP To Hold Vel Yatra: TN Govt Tells Madras HC

The TN government stated in court on Thursday that they have decided to not give permission for the BJP’s yatra.

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India
2 min read
Edappadi K. Palaniswami, CM Tamil Nadu and BJP Tamil Nadu president L Murugan.
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The Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed two petitions--one asking for permission and another seeking ban of the ‘Vel Yatra’ planned by the Tamil Nadu state unit of the BJP. The court told the petitioners that they could appeal against this decision and that the state government could issue orders on both petitions.

BJP’s Stance In The Madras High Court

The Tamil Nadu government rejected permission for the yatra planned by the BJP. Advocate General Vijay Narayan informed the Madras High Court that given the risk of a second wave of COVID-19 in the state, it is not conducive to allow large gatherings in the state. He further stated that the court and the Union Government had placed restrictions on gathering of crowds due to the ongoing pandemic. The counsel representing BJP however argued that no specific areas were restricted and that the Centre had only advised physical distancing.

The BJP also pointed out that the state government has said cases of COVID-19 have reduced. “We are not going to stay in any place during the yatra. When the government has decided to open schools and colleges it is not right to ban the yatra,” the party argued.

Chief Justice Amreshwar Pratap Sahi & Justice Senthilkumar Ramamoorthy then stated that an oral guarantee will not do and that the state government has banned large gatherings of over 100 people till 16 November. The bench then disposed of both petitions.

The matter came to court after a Chennai resident, P Senthil Kumar, filed a petition seeking a ban on the yatra. He had argued that the  event could become a threat to maintenance of law and order in the state and could result in the spread of COVID-19. The yatra is expected to commence on 6 November and end on 6 December,  the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition. Opposition parties have alleged that this entire exercise is an effort to flare up communal tensions.

(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)

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